Illustrations by Lucy Xu
It is easy to feel crowded in by the narrow little alleyways and opulent buildings we move among in Cambridge. As beautiful as the town centre is, it can be hard to find open space, and with it, the space to breathe freely. Venturing out into the surrounding countryside can be a great way to switch off and be reminded of a world outside the bubble. Now that spring has arrived, a ramble in our blooming, sunny surroundings is more enjoyable than ever.
A classic choice for a reason, the six mile circular walk from Cambridge to Grantchester promises all the benefits of a ramble while requiring little prior preparation. This route is perfect for a spontaneous afternoon walk that can include a break at the famous Orchard Tea Garden in Grantchester!
The path follows the river Cam all the way to Grantchester, and places you in the middle of lovely, verdant nature, with some beautiful open views of the Cambridgeshire countryside. This is the perfect choice for a quick mind-clearing break that will make your work feel far away…
Cambridge's Rose Crescent
Another easy walk in the immediate vicinity of Cambridge is the ramble to Fen Ditton, along which there are many great pubs to make a stop at. Equally close and pleasant, the walk through Jesus Green, across Midsummer Common, and then further along the river is a very easy and calming escape from the city centre! Both these walks allow you to see Cambridge from a different perspective. These two routes do not stray too far away from inhabited areas, but are nonetheless make for very relaxing walks.
Finally, there are Hillwalking and Rambling societies, that organise weekly walks and even occasional weekend breaks! This is the perfect choice if you’re after a longer walk in unfamiliar surroundings, and really want to be in the middle of nature. I’ve only experienced walks with the Rambling society so far, but have really enjoyed the rambles
I’ve been on. The pace is usually quite slow, and the walks relaxed, as expected. This is the right choice if you’re after a day out in nature, as the rambles tend to begin quite early, with a bus or train taken from Cambridge to various places in the surrounding countryside. You can expect to return in the late afternoon/early evening, which allows for a total break and can help you mentally reset yourself for the following week of work.
Whatever ramble you choose, now is the perfect time for it. Blooming trees, wildflowers, and, hopefully, more frequent sunshine all entice us to get out of our rut and into nature now that spring and early summer are well and truly on their way.